Volume 5, Issue 1
Published: February 15, 2011
New life for US biodiesel industry in 2011
Much like the story of the phoenix, the US biodiesel industry has been reborn after a neardeath experience. Yet, US producers will continue to struggle due to the high costs of biodiesel compared with petroleum-based diesel and the fact that the tax credit was only extended through year end, with another extension by no means assured. Extending the Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax credit, which pays $1 (€0.7) per gallon for blending biodiesel into diesel fuel, seemed doomed after several failed attempts in 2009 and 2010 by a bitterly divided US Congress, despite having bipartisan support. It had expired on 31 December 2009 but on 17 December 2010, US President Barak Obama signed into law H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Included in the measure was the one-year extension of the tax credit through 31 December 2011, while authorising retroactive tax credits for biodiesel blended into diesel during 2010. Last year the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) estimated 25% of US plants closed permanently and many more had idled operations due to the lost subsidy. The New England Fuel Institute (NEFI), a trade group for fuel marketers in the US Northeast, recently advised members, many of whom are heating oil distributors now selling Bioheat, of a special claim procedure from the Internal Revenue Service to collect refunds for this credit.
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Further Articles in this Issue:
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